Bub­ble Trans Pride

This Toronto team aims to re-cen­tre the LGTBQ+ con­ver­sa­tion around marginal­ized bod­ies.

The Coast - - HALIFAX FRINGE - —Tara Thorne

Thu Sep 6, 9:10pm; Sat Sep 8, 8pm The Old Com­pany Theatre, 2202 Got­tin­gen Street, $10/$7

When

Tyler (Tsholo Khalema) meets Bob (Mi­haly Sz­aba­dos), the at­trac­tion is in­stant. Bob has lost some­one and Tyler’s art speaks to the pain. Mean­while Tyler’s friend Jill (Karla Rae James), who has tran­si­tioned quite late in life, is hav­ing is­sues be­ing let into the gay club she’s pa­tron­ized for 30 years. The bouncer keep­ing her out? Bob.

“The show comes from our lives,” says Syrus Mar­cus Ware, who wrote Bub­ble Trans Pride with Han­lon McGre­gor and, like Tyler, is a Black transgender ac­tivist.

“That Tyler char­ac­ter came from me want­ing peo­ple to have more em­pa­thy through these change-mak­ers,” says McGre­gor. “When we look back through his­tory we cel­e­brate them as heroes, but in the mo­ment they make us un­com­fort­able.”

Bub­ble Trans Pride is paired with a screen­ing of McGre­gor’s short film Hold­ing Hands

with the Awk­ward, which he co-wrote and di­rected with Sz­aba­dos, fea­tur­ing Tyler (played here by Ware) help­ing out a friend deal­ing with his tran­si­tion. “They’re part of the same story,” says McGre­gor. “It’s lighter and funny, and to pair them was a bit of a palate-cleanser. It’s about the emo­tional labour that goes on when sup­port­ing each other. It’s not a bank ac­count, you can’t balance all that out.”

Tyler, in the play, is an­gry at Bob for keep­ing Jill from a space she’s known for decades, ar­gu­ing that even within the queer com­mu­ni­ties there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“It’s so es­sen­tial to have a re­flec­tive look at what trans­pho­bia and anti-Black racism look like in the queer com­mu­nity,” says Ware. “We are shift­ing and re-cen­tring the con­ver­sa­tion around marginal­ized bod­ies, and say­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence is im­pacted by these other forms of op­pres­sion. I think it’s a real im­por­tant work to have out there right now.”

STOO METZ

Tyler (Tsholo Khalema) strug­gles to be ac­cepted and re­spected in Bub­ble Trans Pride.

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